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dé·jà vu (noun): a feeling of having already experienced the present situation.
Monday night against the Bulls was so much fun for Thunder fans, the team decided to rewind the tape and play it over again on Wednesday night against the Grizzlies.
Home game? Check.
Feisty underdog opponent with enough young talent to pull off a road win? Check.
Get down by double digits and trail the entire first half? Check.
Look like the tanking team everyone said they’d be and get down by 24+ points in the third quarter? Check.
Go on a huge blitz to end the third quarter and whip the home fans into a frenzy? Check.
Have your stud point guard go bonkers with 30+ points and lead you to an impossible comeback victory? Check.
The only difference was that the stud point guard tonight was Dennis Schroder, and not Chris Paul, who scored basket after basket in the final 15 minutes to snatch the win from the upstart Grizzlies.
The most shocking element of tonight’s comeback was how quickly it happened. Memphis was up by 24 points late into the third quarter, and by the time the buzzer sounded to end the period, the Thunder had cut the lead down to 7. Only a few minutes passed in the fourth quarter by the time the lead changed hands to the Thunder.
OKC blitzed the Grizzlies with swarming defense that stifled the previously red hot Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke and led to easy fast break points. Schroder hit a million midrange jumpers, CP3 hit a hundred midrange jumpers, Gallo hit a few 3’s, and SGA hit free throws. Steven Adams hit the floor one time, died and came back to life. It was everything you could ever ask from a Thunder game.
This Thunder team is just fun, period. Every game is an adventure, each quarter its very own competitive roller coaster ride. They get down, they get up again, you’re never gonna keep them down. They’re the Chumbawamba of NBA teams. They pass the ball, they make their free throws, they don’t waste many possessions, and they give all-out effort every night.
And they are making it very difficult for even the most cantankerous of the hard core tankers to stay in the hull of Team Tank.
- The Thunder currently sit alone in the 7 seed, a full game ahead of the Kings and a game and a half ahead of the Blazers.
- The Thunder are now 7-3 in their past 10 games.
- OKC’s upcoming games: Suns, Clippers, Grizzlies, @ Hornets. Real possibility for the Thunder to get to 16-14.
- Dennis Schroder might be the best player on the Thunder, or he might be the third best player at his position on the Thunder.
- That’s now 10 straight games of 17+ for Dennis Schroder, the longest streak for a bench player in the NBA.
- Last game, Steven Adams shit his pants. Tonight, Chris Paul gave a flatlining Steven Adams CPR on the sideline. The man is a living, breathing meme.
- Adams dying and coming back to life in the middle of a game means that Bill Simmons finally got his wish: a true to life Zombie Sonic.
- This Peake crowd may not be at 100% capacity against the likes of the Grizzlies on a Wednesday night anymore, but these Thunder fans are still earning their Loud City nickname. When OKC goes on a run, it gets to nearly playoff level decibels for this “rebuilding” squad.
- Ja Morant missed both free throws after a phantom call on CP3 in the clutch, resulting in the ultimate Ball Don’t Lie moment.
- The Thunder are undefeated whenever Steven Adams wears a suit and tie to work.
- Darius Bazley is still a work in progress, but he really does show flashes of an all-around skill set. Some games, he’ll hit multiple 3’s. Other games, he’ll show off his natural passing instincts. Tonight, he did his best Nerlens Noel impression and swatted away Grizzlies like they were flies. The rookie finished with four blocks.
- Shai stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. The one thing missing was playmaking, as he only had 1 assist on the night. Still a nice night for SGA, who knocked down all 6 of his free throws, an area of his growing game that is becoming a strength.
- Royce Young told me in the middle of the media room tonight that I was doing a great job and that he really liked my Shai story. Those few sentences will stay with me longer than whatever it was my wife said to me when we read our wedding vows.
- This team truly is so much fun. Back to back comebacks of 26 and 24 points is historic stuff. I know Russ is gone, but you’re missing out if you’re not watching this OKC team.
- The Thunder play the Phoenix Suns, another young team capable with a losing record but plenty of young players with pedigree, in OKC on Friday night. I very much look forward to the epic 25 point comeback.